(CMR) The Cayman Islands’ open season for conch and whelk begins today, 1 November, and will run through 30 April. The season allows the taking of conch and whelk from coastal waters within legal limits.
The legal daily limit for possessing conch during the open season is five per person or 10 per boat each day, whichever is less. Only queen conch (Strombus gigas, Lobatus gigas) may be taken, and no one may take – or permit another person to take, purchase, receive, offer for sale, or possess more than five conchs from Cayman waters.
The legal daily limit for possession of whelks during the open season is two-and-a-half gallons in the shell or two-and-a-half pounds of processed whelks per person per day. No one may purchase or receive more than two-and-a-half gallons in the shell or two-and-a-half pounds of processed whelks from Cayman for each day. Chitons, periwinkle, and bleeding teeth may not be taken. Echinoderms (starfish, sea eggs/urchins, sea cucumbers, and sand dollars) may not be taken.
Members of the public are also reminded that Cayman’s annual lobster season does not open until 1 December. Individuals may come across lobsters while getting conch or whelks when it is still the closed season for lobsters. Anyone caught possessing locally caught lobster out of season will also be arrested and prosecuted.